How Guest Blogging Made Me 5-Figures The following is the the first post in the series of guest blogging success stories. The series is dedicated to my new venture My Blog Guest, the community of guest bloggers. I am building the site where you can build links and your brand completely for free and by providing real quality, so go ahead: join, participate and help me build it!

The guest post was provided by Glen Allsopp, a talented writer and a well-known blogger who has been building his name by guest blogging.

When I go at new things, I go at them full-force. Naturally, I only take on projects that I’m very passionate about, so the ones I do take on get my absolute attention. When I started a brand new blog mid-way through 2008, things were no different.

The blog I was starting would probably be best defined as a member of the ‘personal development’ niche. A site that helps people with life struggles, productivity, motivation and things like time-management. Something that I was very interested in at the time.

Although I classed myself as a very good internet marketer, I was a total nobody in the personal development niche. I had a new blog and no audience. I decided that instead of going down the usual methods of blog promotion I would try a new strategy to get myself more readers: write blog posts for other sites.

Guest Posts

Guest posts make total sense and provide a winning situation for multiple parties. First of all, the blogger who is accepting a guest post on their site gets free, quality content for their audience. The audience of that blog gets great content to read. The writer of the article gets a link from the post and potentially new subscribers on their site.

As long as the post is of a high quality, everybody wins.

People have been advocating the benefits of guest posting for years, and it’s nothing new. But these people usually recommend it on a small scale. I had the idea of guest posting thanks to Leo Babauta from Zen Habits who claimed that it helped him grow his site so quickly. (I think it was the 50+ digg homepages, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt).

I started writing. And I wrote some more. I took a break. And then continued to write. Instead of writing a post a month or even a post a week, I wrote 2-3 every single week. I wrote more guest posts than anyone else I had ever seen writing them, and things were going well.

Subscribers were up massively, traffic was up, and the links back to the website were now in the thousands. Guest blogging was really taking off for me. In the space of a few months I had written nearly 40 individual guest posts for other websites and was now enjoying a feed count of over 4,000 subscribers.

A Five-Figure Income

I don’t like to reveal exactly how much money I make, but through blogging alone in 2009 I made well over $50,000. This is completely through blog that was built from scratch; not any of the other sites I run. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if I had not written one guest post in the last 12 months, that figure would be more like $10,000-$20,000.

You see, I think there really is no effective way to market a blog these days. I mean, you can spend hours interacting on forums or blog comments and hoping to get a few clicks. Or, you can spend an hour writing a quality article that shows a brand new audience what you’re about a get both links and traffic to your site.

To me it was a no-brainer, so I kept the strategy going.

In fact, this worked so well that guest posts on some sites would send me over 400 subscribers. That’s right, one article could really increase my feed count so much. Do this on the scale I was doing things, and you start to see how I became successful.

Now that you’ve seen the power of guest posting, let me share some final tips.

Tips from My Experience

Based on everything I have learned over the past year, I just have three main points to make:

  • Vary Your Posting: Some people just focus on the biggest sites and that’s it. Instead, I wrote for the ‘small fish’ and the ‘big guys’. Both improve the number of backlinks to your site and you never know when a small fish could become a great contact or even a big fish.
  • Send it and See: Most people think it’s not only polite but also ‘right’ to ask a blog author if they like a blog post idea first before sending it. I definitely think it is more polite, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best thing to do. Instead, in my experience, I have simply wrote articles I think other bloggers would like and I send it to them. Then they can clearly say yes or no with the content in front of them.
  • Accept Rejection: If someone doesn’t want you to write on their site or they don’t like the content you’ve wrote, just accept it. There have been plenty of sites who didn’t think my work was good enough for them, yet Technorati Top 100 blogs that loved my writing. Rejection doesn’t mean anything about you specifically as a person, so just accept it with grace and move on.

So, you still don’t think guest blogging is ineffective, do you?

This article was written by Glen Allsopp who blogs about Viral Marketing. As you can see, he is a big advocate of guest posting.

Got a guest blogging success story? Send it to me and I’ll spread the word!

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  1. Pingback: uberVU - social comments
  2. I have known Viper chill since few months. He has done good at viperchill 1000000 in a year challenge. Congrats to Glen.

    In the last week google page rank update, i can see many bloggers in my niche got amazing page rank jumps. Most of them did by guest posts in big blogs.

    I am also going to take a try.

  3. where does the money come from? I’m reading your blog, I’ve written some of my own, no one has paid me, I’ve not paid you …??? call me dumb but please provide the answer!

  4. I would say guest posts is one of the easiest methods for bloggers who aren’t that good at self-marketing (for whatever reason) their own work.

    For me personally, I’m more of the curtain opener, backstage orchestrator type rather than the lead actor, spokesman type.

    So for me, guest posts help me network with other bloggers in my field, get backlink, etc, without the need to do my own cheerleading.

  5. @Pascal – Thanks buddy, glad to have you as a reader!

    Good luck.

    @dumbee Hey, my income comes from a lot of places:

    – Sidebar ads
    – Adsense
    – Selling my own products (this alone made me over $30,000 in 09)
    – Selling the products of others for a commission

    And so on. There’s lots of ways to make money if you test.

    @Matt_SF I don’t think guest posts should be viewed as a fix or need for people who are bad at self-marketing. It’s simply another strategy to get eyeballs on your (hopefully) excellent content.

    Glad you all liked the article, and thanks to Ann for inviting me here!

  6. Great post Glen! I too have seen great results from guest blog posts. This article has inspired me to “take it to the next level” in 2010.

    In the past I feel I’ve done “some” work in this area. But I’ve never really focused on it enough at a consistent pace.

    One question I have for you:

    Do you post portions of your guest posts on your own blog as content or are all your guest posts completely original content?

    Part of what’s held me back in the past is “giving up” what I feel is great content to other blogs and not having the time or understanding on how I can still add that great content to my own site.


    Thanks again!

  7. Glenn,

    I’ve have been sold on the idea and actively guest blogging for about a year now. In fact Ann is the one that introduced me to the concept. I haven’t done it to the extent you have, however this year i am upping the ante so to speak.

    Great post! 😉

  8. Janet Thaeler says:

    I just had a guest post come via BloggerLinkup email. It turned out that I became an affiliate of his products. I got a great post for my blog. Plus we plan on working together on new projects.

    Not only is it great to guest post but also to be a regular contributor. I write for and have for and others. Great for reaching new audiences.

    Now that I have my own products (a book and a DVD about Online PR) I have even more reason to guest post. As I’ve gotten busier it’s more important to look for ways to get content on my blog. Traffic drops off significantly when you stop blogging regularly.

    Let me know if you’re interested in guest posting for me or having me guest post for you. 2 blogs to choose from.


  9. Cal Phillips says:

    Great article! Reading my mind! Know this is true, logging into Links / url on Yahoo, and seeing inbound links to site, gives the juice all sites need to stay a float these days!

  10. I can’t believe you made that much just with guest blogging! If you can find the right gigs at the right sites, really any amount is possible

  11. Solid post my man. It’s also worth mentioning that guest blogging can help drive large surges in Twitter following (if you’re into that sort of thing).

    Keep up the good work, Glen.


  12. A guest post on guest posting. All that’s left is a guest post compiling the best guest posts 🙂

  13. That’s impressive, good for you. Guest blogging definitely seems like a win-win. The blogger gets exposure and new connections, and the blog gets new content and a fresh outside perspective.

  14. Jenni Olson says:

    But he never answers the question of how he made money by guest blogging. He just talks about how he produced a lot of guest blog posts and got them posted. Great. Now how does that bring him any money? I mean, even $1, much less 5 figures?

  15. @Jenni, guest posting was the way to market the blog. Then the blog earned the money:

    – Sidebar ads
    – Adsense
    – Selling his own products
    – Selling the products of others for a commission

  16. I have been blogging from last one year but did not earn money from adsense. Not i got some great ideas. Thank you.

  17. Great article.It gives me some idea about guest posting.

  18. Glen you are definitely an example to look up to.
    My main blog has been going for exactly 12 months, but in all that time the traffic really has not increased.
    I have had several guest authors write for me, but the traffic then has not really gone BOOM!
    I think that maybe by guest writing myself, as you have done, the traffic and exposure might just appear.
    I think we all have to take risks if we are to earn anything online. If a formula isn’t working, we can either say “give it another couple of months”, or try and augment what we have with something else.
    Wishing you even more success in 2010, and my blog is open for guest authors too.

  19. Good article. In the end it comes down to investing and sharing. You’ll pick the fruits later!

  20. It’s impressive enough to motivate me about Guest Blogging this year.
    Let’s see what happens.

  21. Sam Wilson says:

    That was great Glen.

  22. PTFE Membrane Filters says:

    Yeah, I agree with Tony. You are a good example I should learn from.

  23. Thank you for sharing, very good suggestions.

  24. Griff (Financial Freedom 5G Team) says:

    Awesome! I’m going to try that out. I’ve been focussed on creating backlinks but have been wondering how to tap into the blogs that have many more followers than I do right now (even though my following is slowly growing every single day). Thanks for the tips!

  25. Thanks for nice article, very informative and good poing here………….

  26. Thanks for a well written and concise article on guest blogging, Ann. Knowing this is one of many areas of Web 2.0 that is important today. Being a “Babe in the woods” so to speak, I feel better surrounding myself with experts like yourself!~Cal

  27. Very interesting article. Guest blogging is a win-win situation for all those involved.

  28. lenabrown says:

    Great information here! I have been blogging for years, but I never really thought about making money doing it. I used it as a way to vent and get conversations started, but guest blogging is a wonderfully awesome idea. I could only wish I thought of it myself. Even if I am not trying to “get rich” writing online guest blogging is a cool way to get people back to my blog. Thanks for this gem of an idea!!

    Lena Brown

  29. Puppy Training says:

    I have been doing blogging for long time and this new idea is really very helpful for me.

  30. What really struck me is I could spend many hours commenting in involving myself in forums or I could create a great post and guest blog. I am surprised at how much it has earned you but it’s really possible. You are incredibly awesome!

  31. This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  32. Jacob maslow says:

    We just re-launched our blog this month. We have close to 40 posts already and about 8 are guest posts.

    Bloggers are discovering the advantages of multiple guest posts from a single blog – better branding to the new set of readers and linking for more terms.

    Also write guest posts weekly. We have a professional writing team that writes well researched posts in a conversational style. Allows for more diversity within a blog.

    Could not have laid this solid of a foundation to our blog without ann smarty’s site and linkedin group. Our blog grows daily as a result of her tools.

    Recommend everyone active on the web join her site and the associated link in group for guest blogging.

  33. website design montreal says:

    very nice, Thanks a lot for sharing. I will try it sometime for sure

  34. Web Design Company India says:

    This is really very useful and new for me. Thank you.

  35. Great post. I just sdtarted a blog with my friend. We read tones of SEO materials to see how we can reach on top. To meet the objective we established the strategy to take it step by step: link building, web content, adsense, and so on. My personal objective is to write every day a post and write on other blogs…
    My approach was wrong due to focusing on top blogs.

    I will take into consideration writing on small blogs too.

    However you article is great and it surely gave me new ideas.

    Best Wishes!

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  37. Guest blogging is necessary for a site to rank high for certain keywords and get free organic traffic. This is because guest blogging ensures that other sites will link to yours. The principle is simple. Thank you for your great tips!

  38. What a great concept! I am going to sign up so that I can get more exposure.

    I read a lot about people making tons of money on blogging, and see a lot of blogs, but I really wonder if there is all that much money in it after all?

  39. A year on from my last comment on this thread, my blog has taken off better in the past few months, with my writing more articles there instead of on other sites.

    However there are still far more blogs being created than readers to read them, so without even grabbing my calculator, I figure that something has to give, and a lot of blogs just aren’t going to make it, because either the writers are not interesting enough, or the readership isn’t there.

    I hope that my own blog will keep going forward and begin to be more profitable in the coming months. Visitors are welcome, and if you leave a nice comment I will be happy to come pay your site a visit in return.

  40. Excellent Post – Thanks – I like guest blogging too

  41. I am always welcoming guest authors on my blog because of the fact that I realize the importance of guest blogging. I made a website build solely around guest blogging and I am hoping to make this my main dedication now. I want to help people build links to their websites as well as build a good reputation, thats why I’m also often guest blogging. It helps build trust, an image, a brand. I also suggest using a specific image such as a gravatar to always use your brand image on others blogs.

  42. Hi Ann,

    I enjoyed your post on guest blogging. I found the section on “tips from my experience” about varying your posts and accepting rejection very helpful. I am just starting to create an online presence for my business and am very concerned about doing it properly. Thanks again

  43. Matt Henss says:

    I have been reading alot about guest blogging. I would like to start taking advantage of its influence. I am not sure how to start. What is the best approach? Do I just find a blog site I like, write a blog, and send it their way? Or,is there popular blogs that are looking for guest writers that someone would suggest as a start?

  44. Interesting article. I started my blog several months ago to write about my concern about how humanity can continue to enjoy the fruits of fossil fuels even as those resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. Didn’t really think about earning any money. However, it would be nice if my blog could cover it’s own expenses. Thanks for the great idea.

  45. This article inspired me to start Guest Posting. Really a good article.


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